Micro Essay/Macro Hack


This photo that I decided to analyze depicts a young girl named “Tereska,” who grew up in a concentration camp. This photograph was taken in Poland in 1948, while she was living in a home for disturbed children post World War 2. Tereska was asked to draw a picture of “home” on the blackboard, and the result was this array of scribbles and lines. The photographer behind this picture was named David Seymour, a famous polish photojournalist who gained fame for this photo, as well as many others, in a series of post war photographs entitled “Children of Europe.” This chilling photo gives viewers a look into the type of trauma and lasting scars concentration camps left on their inhabitants.

The look of confusion on her face shows that she is incapable of grasping the true meaning of the word “home” because she never had one. The torture and chaos of life in the concentration camps was too much for any child to comprehend, which is why the only thing that she could think to draw was this endless void of lines. There are some theories that suggest the lines represent the barbed wires in the concentration camps as well. This photo is also on display at the War/Photography exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum.

I chose this photo because I find the topic of the Holocaust to be one of the most interesting topics in history. Since millions of people were persecuted, I find it fascinating to learn about the individual stories of victims since they are all so different. I have personally visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. and have spoken with a concentration camp survivor, so I feel I have a personal connection to this subject matter. I obtained this photo through Google search engine from rarehistoricalphotos.com in JPG format. Although taken in the 1940’s, this photo still maintains a clear image that isn’t pixelated or blurry, similar to its original condition. All in all I find this image to be very powerful and reflective of the mental state of all Holocaust survivors.

A girl who grew up in a concentration camp draws a picture of home while living in a residence for disturbed children, 1948

Hack #6 The White House

I recently came across this group photo in front of the White House from my class trip to Washington D.C. in 8th grade. It got me thinking about the rich history the White House holds. After looking into it further, I found out that the location of the White House was selected to be in Washington D.C. in 1792 by George Washington. It was under construction for 8 years before President John Adams became the first tenant to live there. The White House was actually burned down during the war of 1812 by the British and had to be rebuilt. President Teddy Roosevelt and President Truman both oversaw renovations to the house, and the oval office was constructed during the presidency of President Taft. Every president since John Adams has lived in this house,and I find it fascinating that I am still able to visit this historical landmark in the 2000’s even though it’s been around since the 1700s.


Hack #5

I purchased this black and white skull as a wall decal for my apartment from Ikea. However, it got me thinking about a Mexican tradition I learned about in Spanish Class. As part of “Dia de los muertos,” the spanish version of Halloween, people decorate skulls in bright colors and patterns as seen in the second picture. This is supposed to paint the idea of death in a positive light instead of a sad one, and to promote the idea of a joyous afterlife. If we go even further back in history, we see that the Mexicans actually adopted this tradition from the Aztecs. Since we live so close to the Mexican border and since our school mascot is an Aztec, I thought this would be interesting to share.

photo Calacas

Hack #4

The vinyl record player was invented back in 1877 by Thomas Alva Edison. Our parents all have fond memories of listening to their record players as kids. However, even though we have more modern technology now such as iPods and mp3 players, record players are starting to make a comeback. I personally bought one, and I have albums from recent artists such as Taylor Swift. I find it interesting how history can blend together when a record player from a previous generation meets modern times with popular music from current artists on vinyl.


Hack #3

I recently came across this twitter page called “Lost in History.” It posts photos from all different time periods and I find myself learning something new every time they post something. I think it’s amazing how Twitter is a relatively new invention but it can be combined with history from over 100 years ago. This account has 3.4 million followers, which goes to show that people still find history interesting even when it is taught outside of a classroom setting. Some of the pictures I included from this account are a guide to men’s hairstyling in the 1950’s, an advertisement for a computer costing $6000 in the 1980’s, and a rare U.S. banknote with a Native American on it. (Christine O’Donnell Section 1 Group 2)

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4

Hack #2

This picture shows my friends and I channeling our inner 1920’s flapper. The 1920’s was an important time for the evolving of “acceptable” behavior for women. Flappers were the first group of women to push the social boundaries by wearing short skirts, cutting their hair, smoking cigarettes, and empowering women to express themselves. (Christine O’Donnell Section 1)292807_532474286766178_492164893_n